A recent study concluded that electronic cigarettes don't help people quit smoking.
There was only one problem with the study. Instead of asking a range of people if ecigarettes had worked for them, they only asked people who had tried to quit smoking and failed.
As Professor Peter Hajek pointed out:
“The authors concluded that EC was not helpful, but that would be true for any treatment however effective if only treatment failures were evaluated.”
Source: Science Media Center
1. Some commissioned studies are either biased or mis-reported.
2. While there are many thousands of anecdotal success stories, US anti-smoking campaigners insist these are not relevant.
3. British anti-smoking campaigners like public health chief John Ashton are spending abusing ecigarette users online rather than giving data driven advice to smokers and vapers:
There is clearly a need to look at real world data.
Smoking Rates v. Ecigarette Usage
Action on Smoking and Health figures show that in the few short years ecigs have become popular, they have succeeded in getting 700,000 smokers (around 7% of the total based on an estimated 10 million smokers in the UK) to stop using tobacco cigarettes, with a further 1,400,000 smokers using both ecigarettes and tobacco cigarettes.
NHS helped 1.5 percent of people quit. ECigs helped 7 percent of people switch from tobacco
Since 2001, the NHS have only assisted around 1.5% of smokers to stop smoking, compared to around 7% of smokers who have switched completely to electronic cigarettes.
Unfortunately, data doesn't exist for those who have completely given up both smoking and vaping through the use of ecigarettes, although we are aware these people exist.
Dual Users of Ecigarettes and Cigarettes: One Year On
In fact, the success rate of electronic cigarettes is likely to be even greater than the previous graphs show.
That's because research published in Science Direct suggests that 46% of dual users will go on to stop using tobacco cigarettes entirely.
Presumably on the basis they should exclusively use the NHS stop smoking service instead.
Which, obviously, comes at a cost:
The NHS quit smoking staff also advised our customers that electronic cigarettes were full of toxins, while another customer claimed to have medical advice that ecigarettes are worse than tobacco cigarettes
Yet not only are ecigarettes more effective at helping smokers than the NHS, scientists such as Professor Polosa tell us they offer a huge health benefit to smokers who can't quit nicotine entirely:
(Some NHS staff have proved more enlightened, as this guest post by Louise Ross shows.)
More Smokers Quitting
Over the last few decades there has been a huge fall in smoking rates, but in recent years the number of people quitting has plateaued.
At least, until ecigarettes started to become popular. In the last few years, the percentage of smokers stopping tobacco use has seen a jump.
Unfortunately, we don't have the breakdown of the quit smoking methods used, and obviously there are other factors which effect the smoking rate (such as the increase in taxes). However, we're not the only people to suspect a connection.
Deborah Arnott of ASH England argues:
Falling Cigarette Sales
As you might expect, all this is leading to falling cigarette sales.
We asked him why he wanted to leave his current company, and he told us:
The tobacco industry is dying - everyone is leaving.
With ecigs appearing to help so many smokers, the real question is why the EU, the Welsh and Scottish governments and the pharmaceutical industry are doing everything they can to hinder ecigarettes.
1. Smoking Statistics (ASH England)
2. Use of Electronic Cigarettes in Great Britain (ASH England)
3. The Jewel in the Crown (Velvet Glove Iron Fist).
4. A Longitudinal Study of ECigarette Users (Science Direct)
5. Smoking in England
6. Tobacco Industry Factsheet (ASH UK)